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Saturday 17 March 2018

The gunfire didn’t stop. I said: ‘This is it, I love you, goodbye...’

Katie Healy and boyfriend David Nolan: ‘There were flashes, sparks, and persistent gunfire’
Katie Healy and boyfriend David Nolan: ‘There were flashes, sparks, and persistent gunfire’

Cormac McQuinn and Kirsty Blake Knox

An Irish woman told her boyfriend, “This is it, I love you, goodbye,” as she lay face down in a stranger’s blood during the terrorist attack in the Bataclan theatre in Paris.

The Irish couple, who both survived the Bataclan attacks, recalled the horror they endured in the atrocity that claimed the lives of 129 people and wounded 352.

Katie Healy and her boyfriend David Nolan were attending the Eagles of Death Metal concert in the Bataclan theatre when three Isil gunmen murdered 89 people.

David, who was the only Irish person injured in the attacks, recalled the terrifying moment he was shot in the foot and believed they were both going to die.

Katie, from Blackrock, Co Louth, and David, from Millstreet, Co Cork, were speaking on BBC’s ‘Newsnight’ programme as they recalled the terror they went through as they silently watched the gunmen moved through

the crowd, stepping over corpses.

“There were flashes, sparks and the noise of persistent gunfire,” David said.

“I could see the silhouette of a man but at that point the crowd kind of fell to the side.”

Katie continued: “People were dropping that had been hit at this stage. There was a couple just in front of me and the man definitely dropped.

“I believe that maybe what I thought was the drink spilling was his blood hitting me. I don’t know.

“The gunfire never stopped really for what seems like forever; and when we were on the floor, David climbed on top of me to protect me and it was very apparent people were dying around us and that there was some sort of massacre happening and we were part of it.”

When the lights came on in the venue, Ms Healy began to understand the extent of the massacre.

“It wasn’t just that I think that’s blood,” she said. “It was that I am definitely covered in blood. I am definitely face down in blood. This is definitely a man that’s been shot. This is definitely happening. We can see it now’” said Katie.

David recalled looking to his side and seeing a blackclad gunman walking “within feet of us”.

“Again, I thought: this is the moment. He’s going to point at us now and we are the next to be shot. He just walked by. “

Amidst the chaos and bloodshed, David was shot in the foot, causing him unbearable pain.

“I looked down and I could see my shoes filled with blood,” David said.

“It was pumping out of my foot. I couldn’t run any further... but we had to keep going. I was beginning to almost pass out.”

Despite surviving such a trauma, Ms Healy said she was not angry about what had happened on November 13.

“I’m just sad,

Irish Independent

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